Easement preventing use of a Permitted Route

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by John @ home, 22 Feb 2012.

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  1. John @ home

    John @ home Established Member Fares Advisor

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    In the Permitted Route Falkirk to Glasgow thread, PaulLothian asked
    and

    In 1996, the first National Routeing Guide contained a small list of 12 Local Easements which were just that, relaxations of Routeing Guide rules to allow journeys that strict adherence to the rules would forbid. Unfortunately, a few years later the train companies started to add to the list a large number of rules which were not Easements at all. They were, and are, extensions of Routeing Guide rules to prohibit journeys that strict adherence to the rules would allow.

    One example is
    But this particular rule has limited application. For example, it does not seek to restrict customers travelling between Glasgow Queen Street and Haymarket, who may continue to travel via Larbert.

    The train companies then played fast and loose with the English language by calling these prohibitions Negative Easements and listing them in a single document called Easements.

    These so-called Negative Easements continue to proliferate. Only yesterday, more were added. See the Easements thread.

    But these are no longer the only types of Easements. The National Routeing Guide Data Feed Specification tells us that there are now seven types of Easement:
    1. Local easement
    2. Map easement
    3. Routeing point easement
    4. Doubleback easement
    5. Fare route easement
    6. Manual easement
    7. Circuitous route easement
    and that for each of these types the Easement can be positive or negative.

    Many of the Easements make very little sense to the passenger. For example, yesterday this rule was added:
    The day before yesterday, when this Easement did not exist, whenever we travelled from Burton On Trent via Chesterfield, we went via Derby. It's the only sensible way to go! The value of telling us that we're allowed to do that is not immediately obvious.

    Suggestions for sorting out this mess would be very welcome.

    The 12 original, genuine Easements were:
    • Customers travelling from Harling Road, Eccles Road, Attleborough, Spooner Row or Wymondham may travel to Norwich and double-back when holding tickets to Ely and all other destinations beyond Ely.
    • Customers may double-back between Barnetby and Grimsby Town when changing between the Doncaster to Barnetby and the Lincoln to Barnetby Lines.
    • Customers for St Ives, Carbis Bay, Lelant and Lelant Saltings from stations east of St Erth may travel via Penzance.
    • Customers for Selby travelling from Doncaster and south of Doncaster may travel via York.
    • Customers for Dunbar may travel via Edinburgh provided that the fare paid is the same as Edinburgh.
    • Customers travelling to Chathill from the north may change trains at Alnmouth on a ticket issued to Chathill.
    • Customers travelling from Carlisle/Newcastle or stations south thereof to stations between Carstairs and Glasgow may travel via Glasgow Central.
    • Customers with tickets routed via London may double back between Clapham Junction and Victoria.
    • Customers travelling from or to stations in the area bounded by Kings Langley, Kempston Hardwick and Milton Keynes inclusive may travel via Northampton to Rugby.
    • Customers may double back between Seamer and Scarborough when changing between the Hull to Scarborough and the York to Scarborough lines.
    • Customers with tickets routed via London may double-back between Clapham Junction and Waterloo.
    • Customers travelling to or from stations in the area bounded by Rochester, Sheerness, Selling and Margate inclusive may travel via Bromley South to and from Sevenoaks, Bat & Ball, Otford and Shoreham (Kent).
     
  2. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    Isn't there an issue that the "ngeative easements" may not actually apply anyway as many of them prohibit journeys that wouldn't actually involve referencing the Routing Guide in the first place?
     
  3. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    Yes this is true - a number have been discussed on here.

    'Easements' should be exactly that - relaxations to permit routes which otherwise would not be permitted. Anyone with an understanding of the English language would know that 'negative easements' are an impossibility.

    There is now, also, an increased tendency for ATOC to include as 'easements' things which are clearly only guidance to the people writing IT code with the purpose of ensuring valid routes (as per the RG) appear correctly in journey planners etc. These so-called 'eaaements' purport to allow things which are already allowed by the RG anyway - they should never need to be released into the public domain as part of the RG.

    In my view, what is needed is a thorough reveiw of all 'easements' so that only actual easements are included in the RG. The maps should be drafted so that 'negative easements' are not necessary. It would appear ATOC have neither the will nor the expertise to do this.
     
  4. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    Seconded. I mean, this forum could do this piece of work for free!
     
  5. PaulLothian

    PaulLothian Member

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    Thanks for the helpful postings and PMs, folks. At least now I understand why I get confused!
     
  6. Yew

    Yew Established Member

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    Do negative easements outweight the RG? For example condition 13 says ' You may travel between the stations on your ticket in trains which take routes shown on the routeing guide' yet nowhere in the NRCOC does it say anything about easements
     
  7. OwlMan

    OwlMan Established Member

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    The easements are part of the routeing guide and therefore in condition 13

    Peter
     
  8. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I share the abhorence of the concept of a Negative Easement. Its an ugly and meaningless term which is a clumsy attempt to avoid calling them what they are: they are Restrictions (but which would, no doubt, require wider consultation if they were called 'restrictions').

    However, we must accept that the wording of the actual Easement itself is frequently very clear to understand and couldn't be much clearer (as in John @ Home's example : "Customers travelling between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh may not travel via Larbert. This easement applies in both directions.")

    So the average passenger should not have any grounds for concern about the wording, just about : 1. the ugliness of the name, 2. the obscure location of Easements to passengers buying and using tickets, and 3. the lack of consultation. But then this distinction appears:
    I share that guess of their purpose. But if that is so, then surely the wording of the actual Easement which I find to be quite clear, shouldn't be "Passengers travelling from ......" but in reality should be : "Rail Industry software writers issuing tickets from .....".

    Either they are a limitation which applies to passengers and which passengers had better observe, or it is a limitation to computer hacks which they had better observe?
    At present, they are written as if to apply to the travelling public.

    This distinction matters - one is a Condidtion of the Contract to travel, binding on the Passenger and supported in Law. The other is a Condidtion of software writing which in not a Contractural Term, does not involve the passenger, and has no basis in Law.
    If you agree that they are instructions to software writers and you agree that they will not be applied to a passenger while travelling, then we can also agree with this:
    But if we don't accept both of these propositions (e.g. you believe that Negative Easements must be considered while buying tickets and while travelling), then the Negative Easements will have to be in the Public Domain, and, in my view, ought to be written in a form which is clear, unambiguous, readily available, and are the result only of proper consultation; as a Restriction should be.

    At present, thay are none of these things. In the meantime, the industry makes a fool of itself with its 'Negative Easements'.
     
    Last edited: 23 Feb 2012
  9. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    Negative easements can overrule any route allowed by the Routeing Guide, note that as the shortest route and through trains are in the NRCoC they can't be affected by easements.
     
  10. island

    island Established Member

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    That would make the easement banning travel from london via two or more of Slade Green, Crayford, and Barnehurst (in practice stopping people going the "long way" around the Dartford loop services) meaningless though.
     
  11. John @ home

    John @ home Established Member Fares Advisor

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    As is often the case, I agree with every word written by DaveNewcastle in post #8.
    Yes, an example is the series of negative Easements 600006 - 600062 which seek to prohibit long journeys round the Fife circle.
    No. But the first page of the National Routeing Guide states that You only need refer to the Routeing Guide when a customer is not using an advertised through train or the shortest route. I agree with hairyhandedfool above that travel by the shortest route, or by a through train, can't be restricted by an Easement. As a result, Easement 600006 fails to prevent a journey from Edinburgh to Rosyth being made via Kirkcaldy on a through train.

    It is obvious from the correspondence quoted above that the intention of ScotRail and DfT was to prevent a journey from Edinburgh to Rosyth via Kirkcaldy on through train. Easement 600006 fails to achieve that intention.
     
  12. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    If everyone believes something is banned, is that not as good as banning it?

    The odd person realising such a ban is unenforceable is not worth bothering with, perhaps letting them off with "a gesture of goodwill" each time they use it.
     
  13. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    I agree with your analysis. I wasn't suggesting 'Negative Easements' should not be in the public domain. I was referring to those 'easements' which 'allow' things which are already allowed by the RG anyway, e.g
    Easement 700217: Customers travelling from Burton On Trent via Chesterfield may travel via Derby. This easement applies in both directions.
     
  14. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I don't think the easement has much of a purpose, as providing people remain on the train they are valid. I guess it's designed to prevent people claiming break of journey to start/finish short, although it could be argued that break of journey is not allowed by the existing rules, there is not universal agreement over that.
     
  15. exile

    exile Established Member

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    An interesting consequence of the "direct train" rule is that any journey on a circular route is valid, so long as you don't get off anywhere but your destination.
     
  16. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    Certainly that is one interpretation.
     
  17. PavlosA

    PavlosA Member

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    I have no clue about easements. Could someone explain if this particular negative easement means I could not travel eg from London to Slade Green, via Barnehurst of Crayford?

    My ticket is a London to Gravesend annual season and I use it on all three routes regularly. Should I also not be doing this?

    Ta
     
  18. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    My reading of it is that you can go to one of the end stations but no further back up a different line to the one you came down. There are a number of services in the peaks which terminate at one of the three stations after calling at another and these would be a bit pointless if you couldn't use them.
     
  19. island

    island Established Member

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    I agree with MikeWh. You may travel from London via A to B, but not from London via A and B to C, where A and B are two of Slade Green, Barnehurst, and Crayford, and C is anywhere else on the lines from London to Dartford via Greenwich, Bexleyheath, and Sidcup.

    This does not apply with a season, which allows you unlimited travel in either direction on the route covered. So if you want to travel from London Cannon Street to Woolwich Dockyard the long way around via Sidcup, knock yourself out.

    Confused yet? :)
     
  20. PavlosA

    PavlosA Member

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    Actually, no, and this makes perfect sense. This is what I assumed. The one thing I'm concerned with is that I have a Gravesend ticket. I understand I can use all three routes, but taking a journey such as London to Slade Green via Barnehurst (or Crayford) takes me onto track that I would never touch with London to Gravesend routes...
     
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